Head coach Gary Kubiak and the Texans showed their support for the military on Saturday at Mercer Stadium in Sugar Land.
Kubiak was honorary chairman of the seventh-annual Impact A Hero 5K race, which helps to provide financial and emotional support for severely wounded U.S. veterans and their families. He was joined by Texans assistant coaches, staff members, Lady Texans, Texans mascot TORO and the Houston Texans Cheerleaders.
"It's just about showing support for the men and women and their families that serve our country and give so much to all of us," Kubiak said. "It's a great morning. I've been a part of it now for six years, and I really look forward to it."
This year's event had more than 3,000 participants, a record number that included about 70 wounded veterans and their families.
"They do so much for us on a daily basis," Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison said. "With what little we can do here, it feels good to help. I'm not sure we feel like we're helping all that much, but it's something to let them know that we're thinking about them."
Many of the veterans walked part of the race course with their families. Impact A Hero 5K chairman Larry Boyd described it as an emotional boon for the former soldiers.
"We have several heroes that will be here this morning that have started to rehab," Boyd said. "Some of them in years past, the first time they ever came out of (the hospital), they came to this event and said it was the main thing that changed them to say, 'I can go out in public.'
"We're in I believe the eighth or ninth year of the War on Terror directly, and we forget that our men and women are over there fighting for our freedom, for our way of life… Our hope is that (the race) helps remind them that they are important to us and that we are thankful for their sacrifice. "
The Impact A Hero weekend has raised more than $970,000 in donations for wounded veterans since 2007. Kubiak and the Texans have helped it grow by leaps and bounds from its humble beginnings as a 250-person race at a small park in 2005.
"Obviously, it's gotten bigger and bigger each year," Kubiak said. "It took a long time just to get to the starting line today, so that'll tell you how many people were out here. It's just good to see it grow. I think the support of Houston here in general and the people here in town have been tremendous toward our military and their families."